[ferro-alloys.com]Brazil’s Vale (NYSE:VALE), the world’s No.1 iron ore miner, saw output of the steelmaking commodity collapse by almost 34% in the second quarter of the year, compared to the same period in 2018.
The drop to 64.057 million tonnes came as several of its major operations, including Brucutu, which is the Rio de Janeiro-based firms’ biggest mine in the southeastern state of Minas Gerais, remained fully or partially shut down following a deadly dam burst at the company’s Corrego do Feijão mine.
Vale also said that iron ore sales from March to June had dropped by 15.5% to 61.945 million tonnes.
In March, Vale was forced to shut its Timbopeba mine, which produced 12.8 million tonnes of iron ore per year, due to safety concerns. It also suspended operations at its Mariana complex, where a similar accident occurred in 2015, killing 19 people and flooding the local area.
The company later received an order to halt another two dams — Minervino and Cordao Nova Vista.
In total, the company stopped producing about 90 million tonnes of iron ore, but was allowed to resume operations at Brucutu late in the quarter, restoring some 30 million tonnes of yearly capacity.
A further 30 million tonnes are likely to come back on line by the end of the year using “dry processing” methods that avoid the use of hazardous tailings dams, Vale said.